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25 September 2013 : Review article  

Gender issues in solid organ donation and transplantation

Fangmin Ge, Tao Huang, Shunzong Yuan, Yeqing Zhou, Weihua Gong

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.889323

Ann Transplant 2013; 18:508-514

Abstract

Gender as a critical, intrinsic, non-immunologic factor plays a pivotal role in the field of transplantation. The gender of donors and recipients is involved in the entire process, including organ donation and transplant surgery. This review article aims to summarize the literature related to the role of gender in solid organ donation and transplantation and to unveil the underlying mechanism by which gender mismatch between donor and recipient impacts transplant rejection. A systematic search was conducted through PubMed by using the following key words: “gender”, or “sex”, and “transplant”, “organ donation” for published articles. The prima facie evidence demonstrated that females are more likely to donate their organs and are less willing than males to accept transplant surgery; however, their donated liver organs will have a higher risk of graft failure compared with males. With respect to kidney, heart, and lung transplantations, the role of gender remains controversial. Results of animal studies support the negative impact of gender mismatch on allograft function. In conclusion, our present study advances the knowledge of gender issues in the field of solid organ donation and transplantation. In general, gender mismatch is not advantageous to transplant outcome, as evidenced by many aspects of biological investigations on immunogenicity of H-Y antigen to females. Therefore, gender issues should be highlighted and an a priori intervention is needed to improve graft survival in clinical practice.

Keywords: graft function, Transplantation, transplant outcome, gender, Organ Donation

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Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358
Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358